Yesterday the attack everyone expected, but nobody wanted, happened in London. Targeting Westminster, the centre of political power, innocent citizens became victims of a terrifying and cowardly act of terrorism.
It could have been me, it could have been you. Few tourists to the capital fail to visit the picturesque Houses of Parliament by crossing Westminster Bridge. They just happened to be in the right place at the wrong time.
Why the ‘right’ place? Because the only response to an act of violence like this is to continue our way of living. To defy change and uphold the values of a free society where anyone can be what they want and go where they want. Whilst the injuries and loss of life are beyond heartbreaking, the business of today will resume and we will carry on with living and cherishing our liberty.
What became clear in the aftermath of events, was the brilliantly choreographed handling of the media by the Police. This was a day where all the meticulous planning of umpteen training exercises was put into action in front of the world, to full effect.
Crisis Management, a growing arm of PR, should be applauded for what it achieved in containing panic and inspiring confidence in the UK Authorities.
The messaging and handling of questions in Press conferences showed a Police Force in control. And to propagate the all-important message of unity, Londoners of all religions and creeds were praised for their bravery in rushing to offer help. The UK tabloids even played ball, holding back on publishing information on the terrorist’s identity to protect police investigations.
Out of all the images and footage created on the day, most front pages led with a picture of the terrorist on a stretcher being attended by medical staff. An oxygen mask is placed over his mouth, the medics desperately performing CPR. Their faces are taught, every ounce of concentration is dedicated to the job they were trained for – there’s no judgement on who they’re treating. And that says it all, there in that one picture.
No matter who, no matter how heinous the crime, we are a society that strives to protect life at any cost. We should be so proud of what we have achieved.
By Marc DeLeuw